My trip from A to Z on my blog continues with the letter E (day 5).
Today we find ourselves in Germany, a land known for many castles: Neuschwanstein (the “Cinderella Castle”) and Heidelberg among the most famous, most visited, most recognized.
During my childhood and while we were stationed in Germany later for 3 years, I visited so many wonderful castles and ruins – all with a tale to tell, dating back to long before America ever existed!! We even spent the night at Schloss Rheinfels, a castle on the Rhein River for our 5th anniversary … but it would require the letter R to tell that story!
I want to feature an amazing castle near the Moselle River and Mosel wine region:
E is for Burg (Castle) Eltz.
By the way, the word Schloss means a residence, a palace. A Burg is more of a defensive fortress. Both words can be translated as castle.
Burg Eltz is located in the Rheinland-Pfalz (Palatine) region, between the cities of Koblenz and Trier. The castle is nestled in the Elzbach Valley by the River Eltz. It is accessible by car or bus/shuttle, but we walked about 30 minutes through the forest to get to there when we visited in August of 1998 (I was about 8 months pregnant!).
Burg Eltz kind of surprises you! Suddenly, there it is – in a valley in the forest but built up on a rocky hill.
Burg Eltz dates back to 1157, when the deed to the family of Eltz is first documented. In the 1200’s, three brothers built up 3 separate living areas on top of the rocky hill … and today, 2 of those areas are accessible through guided tours, and the family (the sole owners now) still resides in the 3rd part.
Though seeing some warfare in 1331 (to do with resisting the Holy Roman Empire’s imposed rule), it is one of a very few Rhenish castles to never be destroyed.
The Tudor styled buildings and cone-shaped roofs of Eltz make the castle seem fairytale-like. In fact, the tower covered in ivy seen in the picture below looks like a Rapunzel tower to me!
Not only did my husband and I enjoy touring Eltz, the setting of surrounding area is so lovely, especially when the weather is good! We met some of my German family members there and also continued on to a café in the vineyards overlooking the Moselle River. We sat outside and drank our coffee and enjoyed fresh Torte (cake) with homemade Sahne (whipped cream). Those kind of days are what I miss the very most about Germany: my family, wonderful food, and beautiful scenery!
I am taking an A to Z break on Sunday; however, join me again on Monday as we continue with F is for ________. I’ll give you a hint: we are staying in Germany!